Kazakhstan to adopt focus approach to funding priority areas of science and innovation

New approaches to the development of innovation in Kazakhstan were discussed at a meeting of the Council on Technology Policy chaired by Prime Minister of Kazakhstan Alikhan Smailov. 

Minister of Digital Development, Innovation and Aerospace Industry Bagdat Mussin noted that for more effective disclosure of the innovative potential of the republic it is necessary to increase the concentration of allocated funds on the priorities of technological development. Today these are AgriTech (organic products), MedTech (preventive medicine) and GreenTech (water).

It is also proposed to consider including artificial intelligence, Industry 4.0, GovTech and metallurgy in the priority areas. According to expert forecasts, by 2050 these areas will represent the most significant challenges not only for Kazakhstan, but also for the entire world.

The new focus policy mechanism envisages that 50% of the funds allocated for science and innovation will be allocated to specific national technological priorities, while the remaining 50% will be allocated to support all other areas, which is in line with international best practice.

At the same time, measures will be taken to form technological platforms for the above-mentioned priority areas. A technology platform is like a detailed roadmap centered around a certain technological task. It includes specific measures and unites all required stakeholders. This mechanism is based on the experience of technology development in the European Union.

Steps are also envisaged to increase funding for R&D and innovation in general. This concerns mandatory contributions from subsoil users, allocation of funds from the state budget and development of the venture capital market. In particular, commercial banks and insurance companies are planned to be given the opportunity to make venture investments, fixing it at the legislative level. 

Prime Minister supported these approaches and emphasized that for effective solution of issues in the sphere of development of innovation activity it is necessary to actively involve both the scientific community and business entities.

Alikhan Smailov also outlined the need to accelerate all regulatory procedures to promote a single platform for financing R&D, created on the basis of Astana Hub, which is currently operating in pilot mode. 

"It is necessary for all enterprises, innovators and representatives of the scientific community to know that there is such a platform. Within the framework of it, customers and contractors in the field of R&D can interact, place or accept orders on one platform. Most importantly, the platform should be user-friendly," Prime Minister said. 

The meeting also considered proposals for the development of the innovative direction of MedTech. Within this framework it is planned to create eDensaulyq platform with storage of all medical information on it, modernization of the existing fund of medical equipment and production equipment, as well as increasing the share of laboratories accredited in accordance with international standards. 

In addition, it is planned to train Kazakhstani specialists in nuclear medicine and medical physics at the world's best specialized universities, attract venture financing to MedTech and a number of other measures. 

Alikhan Smailov emphasized that the role of this innovative direction is very important in ensuring quality access of citizens to medical services. 

"This includes the use of remote examination technologies, medical forecasting and artificial intelligence, which will significantly improve the level of medical care," he noted.

In this regard, the Ministries of Health and Digital Development have been instructed to ensure the practical implementation of the proposed approaches in the direction of MedTech and the creation of an appropriate technological platform. 

During the meeting, the participants also discussed the issue of defining a sectoral center of technological competencies in the electric power industry. According to the proposal of the Ministry of Energy, it will be located on the basis of NAO "Almaty University of Energy and Communications named after Gumarbek Daukeev" and JSC "Energoinform".

Head of the Government emphasized that the work of the center should be focused on the development of proposals for technological development of both traditional and alternative energy sources.

#Alikhan Smailov #The Prime Minister of the Republic of Kazakhstan #Innovation #Science

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